MTV Launches COVID-19 Back to School Campaign

Ad Council-backed PSAs urge college students to slow the spread

MTV and the ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group, working with the AD Council, are launching a public awareness campaign aimed at helping students returning to college stay safe and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The digital-first PSA campaign includes a media toolkit of creative assets that schools can use as well as a style guide for customizing the campaign on their own social channels and digital platforms.

The #BacktoSchoolTogether package includes three campaigns. The first campaign features spots that urge students to “Do It for Everyone” by following public health guidance. The second campaign features information spots with Dr. Darien Sutton-Ramsey, who addresses myths about masks, antibodies and immunity. The third campaign features animated spots that urge slowing the spread through masks, social distancing and hand washing.

“#BacktoSchoolTogether continues the mission of our global #AloneTogether COVID-19 public awareness campaign to be an agent of change, providing colleges and universities with relevant and fact-based content and enabling a digital-first approach to which their students will respond,” said Jacqueline Parkes, CMO and executive VP of Digital Studios for ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group. “The #AloneTogether campaign resonates with younger audiences because it meets them wherever they are – on social channels and platforms. We are leveraging our 600M social media following to connect directly to students with these important messages that can keep them safe at this critically important time.”

The #BacktoSchoolTogether campaign follows on the #AloneTogether effort launched in March. Those creative assets were used by a number of media companies and ViacomCBS brands, generating 8.7 billion impressions and 32 million engagements on the ViacomCBS platforms. Of the engagements, 37% were with people under 25.

“The #AloneTogether campaign has been a much-needed rallying cry—one that shows we can unite as one to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Its success was a powerful and resonating creative idea that has been embraced by media channels and platforms nationwide,” said Lisa Sherman, president & CEO of the Ad Council. “#BackToSchoolTogether speaks to college students in their voice, with facts that are relevant to them, and gives colleges and universities the tools and content to adapt the campaign for their students. We are so grateful to the team at ViacomCBS for creating it, and all of our partners who will be supporting the message during this critical time.”